Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Unravelling the Myths - IV

7) It is all because of Karunanidhi

The present day politicians use the language issue but they are not the initiators.

The few individuals who know about the anti-hindi agitation believe that it happened in the 1960s but the first anti hindi agitation happened in 1937-38 – yes, before independence!

The policy guidance issued to Congress Ministers and legislators did not specifically state the need and urgency for the implementation of its language policy through the teaching of Hindustani (Hindi) in schools. However, the Congress Ministry in Madras Presidency chose to implement the language policy outline of the Indian National Congress in 1937/1938 which led to an agitation against Hindi in the province.

The Congress leaders refused to acknowledge that the anti-Hindi agitation in the Tamil region of the Madras Presidency was backed by a majority of the people in the region. Such was the dogmatic position of Mahatma Gandhi that he always referred to the anti-Hindi stance in Tamilnadu as being supported only by some people.

However, Mahatma Gandhi (for whom the pre-eminent status of Hindi-Hindustani as the official/national language, was never a matter for any accommodation or adjustment of any different view point and who could see the position of Hindi-Hindustani mostly in terms of Hindu-Muslim unity backed by the history of pro-Hindi movement within the Hindustani speaking states, for his own political expediency) revealed that he was not against the use of Criminal Law provisions against anti-Hindi agitators when he called implicitly the anti-Hindi agitation as "picketing nuisance" (Harijan, 10 Sept. 1938).

Gandhi viewed everything as Hindu-Muslim and was not able to see the differences in language throughout India which was a major flaw in his thought process.

Two Tamils died in police custody in this first agitation: Thalamuthu and Natarajan.

The decision to withdraw compulsory Hindi education from Madras Presidency was taken on January 21, 1940.

Present Day:

It is not just one individual or a single party that opposes Hindi imposition in TN.

TN chamber of commerce and industry opposes Hindi: Feb 08, 2006

MDMK opposes Hindi

"The party will not allow any move to impose Hindi on Tamils in any manner."

Jayalalitha against Hindi:

In a demi-official letter, she said, "It is with great pain and anguish that I wish to bring to your notice the recent practice resorted to by the National Highways Authority of India of inscribing place names in Hindi on the kilometre stones on the NH being laid in Tamil Nadu."


The Lok Sabha was adjourned for 15 minutes today during question hour as a bitter debate triggered off between members from Tamil Nadu and those from the Hindi-speaking belt on whether the milestones on the National Highway should show the distance in Hindi in the non-Hindi-speaking states.

Mr P.H. Pandian (AIADMK), however, supported the issue raised by Dr Krishnam(MDMK) and wanted a reply from the government. Members of the DMK and other members from Tamil Nadu also supported the question.

As can be seen in the few examples given, opposition to hindi imposition in any form cuts across all party lines in TN. Even the PMK and DPI oppose hindi imposition. It is not a question a specific politician's quest for power.

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